Is it nature or nurture that determines how smart your kids will be in the future? According to research into the genetic and environmental factors of intelligence, it’s an even 50/50 split between the two.
If you’re a parent wondering how to raise smart kids, it’s clear that for the 50 percent you can control, your choices and behaviours can make a huge difference to your children’s cognitive development.
But what are some of the secrets of raising smart children? Let’s take a look at four easy tips!
1. Read Aloud to Them Every Day
One of the easiest and most effective parenting tips around is to read aloud to your child as much as possible, and ideally every day. This practice fosters intelligence by introducing them to new words, encouraging listening and concentration, and increasing their capacity for empathy.
Through the interactions and scenarios in kids’ books, children get to understand more about emotions and situations they either may not have experienced yet or hadn’t yet been able to put into words.
All this makes them more curious, more creative, and more considerate. What’s more, taking the time to read and connect with your child helps build a stronger and more loving bond between you.
2. Expose Them to Different Environments
As explained here, giving your children the freedom to explore is a cornerstone of childhood education. When choosing a school, it’s important to opt for one that understands this.
But you can help by exposing your child to as many kinds of environments, situations, and experiences as possible, starting from the first few weeks of their life. These can involve natural settings such as beaches, cultural locations such as museums and aquariums, and leisure and social situations such as restaurants and parties.
Through this exposure, they’ll get a variety of hands-on immersive experiences to spike their curiosity and support learning. From developing schemas to finding out what mud feels like, getting to explore these environments for themselves is key to enhancing their understanding of the world.
3. Let Them Get Bored
Boredom is usually seen in a negative way. After all, raising kids means being on hand to entertain them with all kinds of activities, right?
Wrong! It can be helpful for a child to experience boredom now and again. Not least because it gives them the mental break they need to reflect, get curious, and create their own fun. So if your child complains of being bored, don’t swoop in with a million suggestions – let them come up with their own ideas.
4. Encourage Risks and Failure
While we’re on the subject of swooping in with help, you no doubt also experience this natural instinct to come to your child’s aid when you see them struggling or failing. But failure is a necessary part of life, and it’s vital that your child experiences it so they can deal with it in the future.
By encouraging our children to experience failure (when safe) from a very young age, they’re far more likely to embrace challenges, take more risks, and make smarter decisions as a result.
How to Raise Smart Kids
As these tips show, raising your kids to be smart isn’t about filling every spare moment with educational opportunities.
Instead, understanding how to raise smart kids often means stepping back and just letting them be kids. Through play, exploration, failure, and boredom, kids will learn more about themselves and the world, and get smarter in the process!
Want more great advice like this? Be sure to check out our other posts for all the latest tips, tricks, and how-to guides!